Wed, Mar 18, 2009 - Page 2 News List

Council mulls how to improve nation’s baseball

By Shelley Shan  /  STAFF REPORTER

Sports Affairs Council (SAC) officials met representatives of the Chinese Taipei Baseball Association and Chinese Professional Baseball League yesterday, seeking ways to salvage the nation’s waning baseball reputation.

The meeting was launched after Taiwan’s dismal performance at the World Baseball Classic earlier this month, when Taiwan was eliminated from the competition following losses to South Korea and China.

Premier Liu Chao-shiuan (劉兆玄) ordered the council to submit a plan on how to improve the nation’s baseball by the end of this month.

SAC Deputy Minister Chen Hsien-chung (陳顯宗) said in a telephone interview with the Taipei Times that several professors from the nation’s sports colleges attended the meeting, including Kao Ying-chieh (高英傑), former coach of New York Yankees pitcher Wang Chien-ming (王建民).

Chen said that representatives agreed to divide international games into different tiers. The World Baseball Classic or Asian Games, for example, would be classed as level-1 games and first-rate players would compete in these events.

They also agreed to establish ways for the three associations to better communicate. They also agreed to strive for a better showing in the upcoming Asian Games.

Chen, however, rebutted reports that the SAC would budget NT$300 million (US$10 million) to help baseball over the next four years, saying that a detailed plan would not be complete until the end of the month.

Chen said that funding would not only go to professional baseball, but also to baseball teams at the school level. The exact amount had not been determined, he said.

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